Cooking with your child is a great opportunity for family bonding, learning life skills and sharing life long memories. Cooking is an important life skill that also has the added benefit of reinforcing language and math concepts learned at school. It requires children to read the recipes, measure the ingredients, count the amounts and best of all it instills healthy eating habits.
In a Montessori classroom, Practice Life activities show the children activities of ‘everyday life’ in a purposeful way and allow them to explore and master the activities while promoting independence and contributing to their community. The children learn how to wash, chop, peel, grate and serve healthy snacks to their friends. These exercises found in a Montessori preschool are those that assist a child in becoming more independent in his daily activities. This area enables a 3 year old to learn basic activities that will help them on their road to independence in the classroom environment as well as at home. Pouring is a good example of an independent life skill that they can do at school or at home. These are real life skills, so make sure to use real dishes, glass cups and child- sized choppers.
The benefits of the practical life area in Montessori are innumerable. The four main abilities that this area helps develop in a child are: order, coordination, concentration and independence.
In the Casa environment, children are given the opportunity to prepare chopped carrots, slice apples, remove egg shells from hard boiled eggs, pour themselves a glass of water, and squeeze oranges to make juice. Fun ideas for you and your child to do at home could include making granola, making a smoothie together with all of their favorite fruits and veggies, cracking an egg, measuring the ingredients to make healthy muffins. The possibilities are endless.
Cinnamon Tortilla chips with fruity salsa
Cut whole wheat tortillas. Brush with very little water. Sprinkle with a little brown sugar and cinnamon. Place on a microwavable safe plate lined with paper towel. Microwave on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds or until crisp. A pizza cutter works great for cutting the tortilla into wedges.
Prepare a fruity salsa for dipping by dicing whatever frits you have on hand or use applesauce.
For younger Children: they can wash and chop up the fruit into small pieces and mix together.
For older children (with supervision) they can cut the tortilla into wedges and help make the salsa.